Friday, September 17, 2004


From Fait Accompli:
The final thought of thought
is freedom from thought.

notebook: 1988

N, I have been thinking about this since you posted it. A few permutations:
  1. In recognition of our conflation of thought with language, language with thought:
    1. I am tempted to replace the third instance of thought with language. Gives thought to itself--naked, no longer contingent upon the form of the cloth language designs (from the machines of logic) for it. Moreover, it activates a latent metabolism that satisfies the needs and demands of thoughts and further distinguishes the need we and our thought have for thought to be tied to objects (through speech acts, utterances, conversations, all forms of positive communication) from our desire to see thought in things regardless of our need to communicate at all.
  2. In an attempt to consider thought as one of many deeds prior to language and act:
    1. I am tempted to replace the first instance of thought with deed, leave the second instance alone, exchange the third once again for language. Gives thought the flavor of purposefully directed action in accordance with an aim more or less towards happiness. That is, if we associate freedom with formless-ness.
    2. Or, we could do the opposite. "The final thought/act of language, is freedom from thought." Provides an opportunity to discuss how we can use language as a tool to take a step back from the object/demand of our thought and look at it working while we are with it working. This is the project of psychoanalytic and phenomenological studies. --And moves us back to the promises of Language Poetry, and to the demands of form, and to the restrictions the Rhetorical Guard place on our rebellion against the alienating means of production.
      1. For many authors, language is a tool that locates/projects thought into objects within prohibitive prose or verse forms--prosody, for example, is at the same time restrictive and permissive. The great artists know when to be restricted or to take liberties. We--as artists and readers alike--analyze and interpret the placeholder for thought more often than the thing itself. Only a few authors seek to explore the object itself in language itself: letting it be; letting it function. I think of Stein immediately--moving away from studies of character that marked 19th C writing to studies of the composition of compositions and portraits. Zukofsky, of course. Williams, I think. And he was shamed by Stevens for this attempt to wander; Stevens who was so tied to the form of obsessive attachment thought projects onto image-objects during the laboring of imagination to produce lasting symbols to its own greatness, so tied to IT that he must necessarily rule his own discourse; be ruled in other words. (Not that I don't admire Stevens, folks.) And possibly we are all tied to the sound of our own voices, but we do not need to be tied to the object of our thoughts. We can be projective, I think, in this regard. Enter the field to see what we see and leave having seen what we saw, and prepared to better enter the next field.
        1. What is style but delusional belief?
        2. What is it but Nothing Special?
    3. I hear something in your "note" that is not "in it"--the reading of it. Its function is a deliberate step away from the machine and co-operation that the tradition demands from many of us.
      1. For Emersom, the poet is the one who has the ability to observe from the outermost circle at this moment, the ability to circumference our moment, and observe what is there to be observed.
      2. But Emerson beguiled the gift, its charity.
    4. Also, in the hearing: a playful chorus celebrating Thought while seeking refuge from its horrific self-appearance...maybe a celebration of the return of the repressed. What better to take back than our projected thoughts; and by so doing, exorcise the habit thought demands. Let experience build rather than erode. Let singularity of perspective communicate positively rather than refine and define negatively. Then, language becomes what language can become--human language, poetic language, a pleasing sound that means something to those who hear it because they wish to listen.
  3. In the syllogism I have inferred from your three-fold use of thought, the conclusion might be:
    1. The final thought of language is the freedom from thought.
      1. This apparently sets language against itself, if we believe, as Wittgenstein argues in the Tractatus, that language is the clothing for thought. For language to wish for freedom from thought is at once a wonderful rebellion and a self-inflicted wound. It is a constant-cutting.
      2. Freedom from thought is a freeing of language from thought and giving thought to itself and language to us. What this does for logic is to free the intellect from the demand of other minds and the tradition built into the genealogy of The Intellect or The Rhetoric.
        1. And for the psychotic, the permission for radical certainty to escape the confines of delusional belief--maybe a form of transcendence, at least a transvaluation, for us all through a freedom of though.

Freedom from thought is to wander:
it is a birth and a death:
a process that occurs without our ability to experience it.

What a pleasing engima then: to have a thought that is in itself the freedom from itself; its being is its own end; and, if so, it own end is its recognition of its immanent being.

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